That to-do list you created at the beginning of the week still has a few items on it that you just haven’t managed to check off. A client had a last-minute project they needed completed immediately and other duties got pushed to the back burner. Procrastination reared its ugly head and as the end of the week creeped up, you found yourself unable to complete those final tasks.

No matter how accountable you hold yourself, no matter what steps you put in place to ensure you reach your goals and meet your objectives, sometimes you just can’t quite get there. Failure is a natural part of growth in any facet of our lives. In the workplace, it is important to make sure we learn from those mistakes, view any failures as teachable moments, and strive to improve next time.

Making peace with these failures is a first step in moving on from our mistakes. Just because you missed that deadline, you made an error in a document, or were unprepared for a meeting doesn’t mean you are a failure. Don’t make it personal and try not to let your mistakes define you as an individual or an employee. Another part of making peace with our faults is making certain we don’t dwell on things for too long. So often we beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make far worse and far longer than anyone else does. Changing the past is impossible; focus rather on reshaping the future.

Review what went wrong. Why did you fail to meet your goal? What steps did you overlook when trying to complete your objectives? What can you apply to your goal setting process next time to ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice?

As long as you can walk away from the situation with a new outlook and can genuinely say you learned from the experience, try looking at your mistake as a learning experience rather than a failure. We are all human, even the most experienced of us struggle from time to time. What matters is how we move on and our desire to grow.

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